TLC Survey 2010 - summary of results

In the Autumn 2010 copy of our twice yearly "Travel Topics" magazine, Tonbridge Line Commuters sent a survey to all its members asking them to identify those parts of the train services from the Tonbridge area that they would most like to see improved. The results of this survey are summarised below. We had 67 responses to this survey - a big thank you to all our members that responded. TLC have written a 25 page report which is available to our members using the link here.

A summary of the results is available to all readers below. The table below shows how many "need to improve points" each category received ordered by number of points. It shows what parts of the train service Network Rail, the Department for Transport, and South Eastern Trains should be focusing their energies on improving.

Rank

Question no

Type

Factor

Total Score

1

14

disruptions

Better management of services following severe service disruption (e.g. fire on line, snow, etc)

1065

2

1

service

Cheaper fares

1060

3

6

service

Improved services to... < add town
(e.g. Maidstone, London Victoria, Reading, Eurostar services at Ashford, etc)

775

4

7

disruptions

Train information provision (real time and printed)

610

5

2

service

Reduce likelihood of having to stand for parts of the journey (i.e. providing more capacity)

535

6

12

carriage

Replace carriages which have 5 seats per row to carriages with 4 seats per row

430

7

22

Other

Other
*** please enter station name in comments ***

395

8

16

station

Cheaper car parks

385

9

9

carriage

Cleaner carriages and toilets

255

10

3

service

Shorter journey times

235

11

11

carriage

Quiet carriages

180

12

4

service

24 hour services

155

13

13

disruptions

Better management of Engineering works

115

14

17

station

Increased provision of sheltered and heated waiting area at station

110

15

21

station

Better bus / train interchange at station

105

16

19

station

More car parking facilities

80

17

20

station

Longer ticket office opening hours

60

18

15

station

Better station facilities.
*** please enter station name in comments ***

50

19

5

service

Improved Christmas Period services

40

19

10

carriage

Internet and Electricity Point provision in carriages

40

21

18

station

More bicycle facilities at station

20

22

8

carriage

Carriage with Buffet car

0

Total

6700

Since the survey took place in the first weeks of December 2010, when snow brought the train network to a standstill, it is not surprising that the issue of management of service in disruptions and poor information provision scored highest. The other main issue of concern was of course ticket and car park costs. This issue will have been compounded by the 12% season ticket prices announced for 2011.

There was also strong demand for an improved route network and schedule, with 10 respondents strongly wanting a service to Gatwick. This service looks likely to be re-introduced in the next franchise round as there is strong support from KCC for this. However a total of 14 other towns were mentioned where better services to were requested. There was also strong support for later running trains - particularly on a Friday and Saturday night.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was how unpopular the 3x2 carriages are with 21 people scoring points for this. At first sight this appears to contradict with people's desire not to have to stand on train services although 8 people voted for both categories. However with better carriage design and longer trains more seating capacity can be provided without the need for 3X2 carriages.

There also appears to be increasing demand for quiet carriages, although people were concerned that quiet carriages might encourage people to be noisier on other carriages. Perhaps a "noisy carriage" could be the solution to this.

A 25 page report has been written with the complete results and list of all comments. This is available here. This report has been sent to KCC, Network Rail, SET, DfT, and local MPs.

Tonbridge Line Commuters will also be pushing for the future franchise to address all concerns raised by you. To further this aim. TLC have drawn up a document entitled "Tonbridge Line Commuters requirements for the new Integrated Kent Franchise" which has also been sent to key stakeholders. This is available using the link here.

TLC would once again like to thank all 67 people who responded to this survey.